Arrested Development

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					Arrested Development
Fred Reed
American Conservative; Nov 3, 2008; 7, 21; Docstoc
pg. 35




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Description: I live in Mexico and travel a lot in the "developing world," most of which isn't. I ask myself why not. Inevitably I conclude that a country's progress depends on its human capital. Most countries just don't have enough. They will adopt the portable forms of Western technology-ceUphones, video games, cyber cafs-but not much more.Third comes corruption, to a degree that most Americans can't readily imagine. In many countries, everything is for sale. A blind man could buy a driver's license from a crooked cop, which is to say any cop. The government sells the country's resources - teak, oil, whatever it has - abroad and the money goes to Switzerland. The cops are actual criminals. Corruption rots the society at every level.Yet though school is mandatory, many children don't go or barely do. Where I live, my stepdaughter, seriously smart, is regarded as stuck up because she makes high grades in the Prepa, the feeder system for the University of Guadalajara This is the exact parallel of the charge of "acting white." (Both Prepa and university are free.) Bare literacy, or none, isn't going to work in 2040.
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